Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 16, 2015

Business & Politics

Canadian Pacific Railway Engineers Go on Strike Over Pay and Benefits

New York Times
February 15, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — About 3,000 locomotive engineers and conductors at the Canadian Pacific Railway walked off the job Sunday morning in a dispute over wages and benefits. Although the company said it would try to maintain some service by using managers, the strike is likely to disrupt major industries throughout North America, including automakers, oil companies, paper businesses, lumber suppliers and agriculture and mining companies… David Lindsay, the president of the Forest Products Association of Canada, said about three transport trucks would be needed to replace one rail car. A typical paper mill, he added, would need about 40 trucks a day to move its production. “Getting that many trucks and drivers to replace rail cars is a physical challenge,” Mr. Lindsay said, particularly in the remote regions were most mills operate.

CP Rail engineers and conductors launch strike from Revelstoke Times Review 

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Northwest Hardwoods to Temporarily Curtail Centralia Mill Production

Port Slowdown Blamed: Sawmill, Sander Operators Affected Most, But Company Official Says Everyone at Centralia Plant Will See Effects
The Chronicle
February 12, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

A major lumber mill in Centralia has announced plans to temporarily curtail its production, possibly to half its operating capacity, due to the ongoing West Coast port slowdown. Northwest Hardwoods will begin reducing hours of employees at the Centralia plant on Galvin Road this coming Monday, according to company vice president of human resources Brian Narramore. The curtailment comes as negotiations between longshoremen and port association officials on a new dockworkers’ contract continue, in the face of a slowdown at several ports including Seattle and Tacoma — where Northwest ships internationally-bound products from.

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SOAR overlooking economic, job potential of forests

By Chris Barton and Jeff Stringer
Kentucky.com
February 15, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

As SOAR moves into its second year, we wonder why the forest hasn’t been at the forefront of discussions on the economic future of Eastern Kentucky. The forest is intertwined with the culture of the people who live there and largely defines a region that is 80 percent to 90 percent forested. We have many opportunities for utilizing this natural resource for economic gain. A recent analysis indicated the forest industry could provide the region with an additional $1.4 billion annually and over 7,000 new jobs. These increases can be obtained through expanding current industries and improved use of abundant degraded timber resources, as well as improving the utilization of raw timber products currently harvested in the region. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Letter: Support moratorium for light wood frame multistory construction

New Jersey.com
February 15, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

We ask that New Jerseyans voice support for bill A4195 recently introduced by Assemblyman Scott Rumana (R-Passaic). If enacted, it would impose a moratorium for up to two years on the construction in New Jersey of light wood frame multistory apartment housing. The summary of the bill states that it “requires evaluation of appropriateness of light frame construction for multiple dwellings and imposes a moratorium on light frame construction until determination and recommendations are adopted.”

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Forestry

Public lands: Obama’s budget includes boost for national parks

Summit County Voice
February 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

FRISCO – The National Park Service could see funding for essential programs and operational needs climb $432.9 million this year under President Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2016. “This is an investment in ‘America’s best idea’ that pays dividends in gateway communities across the nation,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.”For every dollar appropriated to the National Park Service in the President’s 2016 Centennial budget, $10 is returned to the American economy in the form of visitor spending, travel and tourism and construction jobs,” Jarvis said. The funds will help parks upgrade aging infrastructure and respond to climate change, he added.

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House panel advances bill calling for study of public land transfer

The Santa Fe New Mexican
February 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

A House committee on Wednesday gave a thumbs up to a bill that would establish a commission to study the transfer of federal public lands to state, tribal or land grant control. Rep. Bill McCamley, D-Mesilla Park, was the only member of the Agriculture, Water and Wildlife Committee to vote against House Bill 291, which drew opposition from a number of witnesses. …. Many said they were frustrated with increasing restrictions on grazing and logging on federal lands, blaming federal agency land management practices for the increase in wildfires in the last few years.

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Focus on Fielder: Thompson Falls senator leads charge on land transfer debate

Independent Record
February 15, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Republican state Sen. Jennifer Fielder says she sees “a lot of hopelessness” in her northwestern Montana district — and that’s why she’s leading the charge in Montana to transfer management of most federal lands to the state. Fielder represents rural, forested Sanders and Mineral counties, where logging and other work in the woods provided a good living for many. But those days have waned, and Fielder believes it’s largely because of federal land-management policies.

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Assembly to consider Tongass Transfer support

KRBD
February 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly on Tuesday will consider a resolution supporting efforts by the state and its Congressional Delegation to transfer the Tongass National Forest from federal control to the State of Alaska. The resolution was placed on the agenda at the request of Assembly Member Glen Thompson. In his sponsor statement, Thompson writes that the Tongass Transfer and Transition Act would provide a mechanism for such a transfer of ownership. The resolution states that the president of the United States has “demonstrated that he will utilize executive orders to put Alaska’s natural resources off limits to all Alaskans.”

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The ‘Settled’ Science of Eggs

American Clarion
February 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…The northern spotted owl was declared an endangered species back in the early 1990s and the remedy was that large swaths of forest in the Northwest were placed off-limits for timber harvesting. Now, two decades later, mill towns are ghost towns, and environmentalists are pressing to take even more land out of production. Yet, the original goal of the northern spotted owl recovery plan was to get 3,000 nesting pairs well distributed throughout the region that included northern California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Today, there are 3,000 nesting pairs on privately-owned land in California alone. Privately-owned land where timber harvesting continues and peacefully co-exists with a thriving species.

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Use every tool with the feds

Baker City Herald
February 11, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Bill Harvey, the new chairman of the Baker County Board of Commissioners, speaks with passion about protecting Baker County from the onerous and sometimes just plain silly decisions federal agencies make regarding the 1 million acres of the county that are public land. (That’s about half the county’s area, by the way.) We agree with Harvey about the importance of this topic, and we like his enthusiasm. Ultimately, though, we want Harvey and fellow commissioners Mark Bennett and Tim L. Kerns to employ the strategy that gives the county the loudest possible voice, as it were, in exerting its influence over how federal agencies manage that massive chunk of ground that’s so vital to our economy and our way of life.

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Commissioners consider challenging feds over timber payments

Don Gurney offers advice on wagon road lands, shares details from BLM meeting
The World
February 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

COQUILLE — Coos County commissioners held a special work session on Tuesday to consider taking the federal government to task when it comes to payment for the Coos Bay Wagon Road lands. The commissioners, for the first time as an elected body, started a discussion about valuating the timber those lands hold — a value estimated in the billions of dollars — and using that value to calculate payments the county gets from the government. Those payments are calculated now only on the value of the land, not the trees on it. Don Gurney joined Commissioners Melissa Cribbins, Bob Main and John Sweet, along with county assessor Steve Jansen, to offer his advice on the matter and share details of his recent meeting with the Bureau of Land Management regarding the wagon road lands.

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Wyden introduces bill to restore timber payments

Bend Bulletin
February 13, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON — Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, introduced legislation Thursday that would reinstate timber payments for rural counties for three years. The bill, called the Secure Rural Schools and Payment in Lieu of Taxes Repair Act, would provide funding at 2011 levels, or roughly $360 million for more than 700 counties nationwide. Wyden and Crapo co-wrote the 2000 law that created county payments as a way for rural counties to transition to new economies after logging on federal land decreased dramatically in the 1990s. The Secure Rural Schools legislation was reauthorized several times, but it lapsed last year, and without additional congressional action, counties will receive much smaller payments in 2015.

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Activists Concerned About DNR’s Ash Salvage Sales

Indiana Public Radio
February 12, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

As the Emerald Ash Borer continues to spread throughout the state, the Department of Natural Resources is trying to make use of some of the infected trees. The department held an ash salvage sale this week at the Jackson Washington State Forest, allowing loggers to purchase timber from trees the bug has invaded. It’s the first of several sales planned throughout the state. While the DNR says it’s a way to generate revenue from trees that will eventually have to come down, activists worry about the implications for state forests. …“What this represents is this pattern of using selective science or no
science to support a forest management plan that maximizes commodity
timber production on state forests, on public forests, over habitat
preservation, over public recreation,” Luurstema says.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

There You Go Again

Biomass Magazine
February 13, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Frequent readers of my blogs know that I find mainstream coverage of the biomass industry wanting. A story from the New York Times authored by Eduardo Porter entitled “A Biofuel Debate: Will Cutting Trees Cut Carbon?” is the latest in a growing string of well-intentioned stories about our industry that I’m afraid do little to illuminate the realities of how our industry fits into the broader energy, forestry and agriculture landscape. While Porter never mentions wood pellets, it is clear that early in his piece he’s talking about global and national policies that support a transition to the production of electric power from woody biomass.

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Are wood chips really worse than burning coal?

Some campaigners believe that using apparently environmentally friendly wood can be three times worse for the climate
The Telegraph
February 14, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

This week two US green groups – the Natural Resources Defence Council and the Dogwood Alliance – met the Energy Secretary Ed Davey to urge him to stop Europe’s second biggest polluter, Drax power station, cutting coal use. And the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has said much the same, even though the Yorkshire plant has already slashed carbon dioxide emissions from its chimneys by eight million tons a year through converting two of its six boilers to burn wood pellets. The reason for this apparent illogicality is that the groups believe that using apparently environmentally friendly wood can be three times worse for the climate than burning the world’s most polluting fuel, and threatens some of the world’s most wildlife-rich forest.

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